midget patrol

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Apr 14, 2006
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Fairfax, VA
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Let me begin by saying that I really enjoy skate/bmx/snowboard photography. To satisfy these, i've been looking into fisheye lenses for my nikon D50. I won't likely make this investment until after my trip this summer. :lol:

I've done some research :study: and come up with a few options and would like to know your opinions on them. I have no bias, so I'd just like to know about the quality of these lenses. Mostly I'm deciding between the Sigma and the Nikkor: (I have never heard of this before, but a google search brought it up. It appears to need an adapter of some sort. I can't tell, the english isn't very good.) (again, never heard of this. Google brought it up) (which can be found for under $500 here:

and, of course, the nikkor: (which is $200 less expensive to buy imported. Why?)

Opinions, suggestions, etc.
If I were you, I'd take the peleng (first one) or the sigma (last one).
The Nikkor : 16mm is OK for film camera (ultra-wide angle) but not for your d50. It's just as a 30 with an aps sensor, which is not particularly wide.
The Arsat : a russian lens again. But it's a MF format lens. 30mm is really wide for a MF camera :
with a 1.6 ratio, a 30mm on a MF camera is equivalent to a 18 with a 35mm camera because of larger film size, but to 50 or so on a digital camera, because of smaller CCD size. With it, you'd get fish-eye-like pciture but with a 50-equivalent view angle. Not particularly attractive...
The Peleng : that's a true fish-eye. 8mm is still very wide, even for an APS sensor
(with a 1.33 ratio : 10mm equivalent). It has been being made in Russia, by Lomo factories (the same as for the lubitel), for decades.
They are really unexpensive (230$ on ebay 190€ if you live in Europe), and produce quite good results.
BUT : no AF (don't need it with a 8mm because of DoF x1.33 on an APD sensor) and no metering, but you can check on the screen or use an handheld light meter (you'll look like a pro fashion shooter :D).
Sigma : if you're feeling rich, I guess colour rendition and lens quality is much better, and you've got idle-pron options such as AF and auto metering ;)
good luck and have fun
Rolleistef said:
and no metering, but you can check on the screen or use an handheld light meter

i think the metering works just fine. You have to set the aperture manually on the lens and the camera will give you the right exposure. Atleast how it should logically be, because the light meter is inside the camera, not on the lens. And if anyone wants to use M42 lenses on a nikon, then they need this thingy
What about the 10.5 mm Nikkor DX fisheye?
I hadn't seen it earlier but it would give me an equivalent 15 mm instead of the equivalent 24mm provided by the 16mm nikkor.

So out of the ones listed in the first post, you would eliminate the 16mm Nikkor, and the arsat (due to focal lengths)?

That leaves me with the sigma, the peleng, and the 10.5mm Nikkor DX

edit: searched ebay for "nikon fisheye" and came up with these:
1, 2
I don't really know what to think about them. They're cheap, for sure. Worth the extra $XXX for a higher quality lens?

edit2: I found this aswell:
It doesn't say it's compatible with the D50 but I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't be. Any ideas?
I have the Sigma 8mm f/4.0 EX (canon mount) it a good lens and have gotten nice results with it, but do not use it that often. What I dislike is that it seems soft and with the full 180 view I end up cropping most everything square.

Being that Arsat is a MF lens would it eliminate the UNexposed areas that you get with fisheyes?
I'm not sure for the metering. Because they need aperture as well for metering, and stopdown light measuring isn't possible with the D50 (no DoF preview.)
It's anyway impossible with my Nikon F75, and I can't imagine why there'd be a difference with the D50.
Now, there still can be a surprise.
And for the Peleng, the adapter is normally included with the lens.
Jeff's question about the MF lens : knowing that the MF lens makes a larger image, will the pic will be fish-eye looking and circular all the same?
For its bein circular I don't know.
But for fish eye looking results, yes you'll get higly distorted pictures, the effect is indeed for the whole lens.

Midget Patrol,
what I heard (and saw) about the peleng is quite attractive. People seem to have quite a lot of fun with it,
but what's important to think about, is how often you think you'll use that lens.
Fisheyes are most of the time for occasional use, and may be quite frustrated by buiying a 5 or 900$ and using it twice a month... It's why i'd rather buy the Peleng.
Oh, and come on, if it breaks, you can buy another one :D
After all, Salyout space missions used Kiev 60 bodies as hammer!!!
it's now up to you!
have fun
Rolleistef said:
---Jeff's question about the MF lens : knowing that the MF lens makes a larger image, will the pic will be fish-eye looking and circular all the same?
For its bein circular I don't know.
But for fish eye looking results, yes you'll get higly distorted pictures, the effect is indeed for the whole lens.--

seem to me with the Arsat being a MF lens it should be less circular, but I also recall hearing around TPF that Nikons other that the d200 do not work well manual lenses
midget patrol said:
See in these shots how the corners are black, that because a true fisheye has a 180 deg symmetric view and that produce a round image, my 1D MIIn has a crop factor of 1.3 so you do not see the circle it will be even less on your camera with the 1.6 factor ,My 10d has a 1.6 crop factor I'll try to take some test shots tonights




3 fully un-cropped shot of the Sky in NY

I'm anxious about going to totally manual metering. Hearing that my D50 may not work well with a manual lens isn't comforting either. I do plan to get a fair amount of use out of this lens and want to make a high-quality investment that will last me for a long time to come.

edit: Jeff, i was aware of that issue. I didn't understand the question. The black corners/not full circle don't bother me so much. As long as the fisheye effect is still there (which it clearly is) then I'm unbothered.

edit2: Please do get those test shots up from the 10d. I'd like to see what the lens looks like on a 1.6 crop factor camera. By the way, is this the Peleng?

edit3: Ignore the question about which lens this is. I see now that you have the sigma.
Sigma 8mm f4 EX fish with 10D 1.6 crop factor





one more this time with film

made a gallery of my fish pics and add a link in my signature
no need to fear about manual metering.
Your camera will work fine anyway, because there's no linkage between the camera and the lens. It's as if you were operating it with no lens at all.
But you'll need to learn how to use a hand held meter. (ooh my goodness! it's sooo hard! push the button, turn the dial, read the speed/aperture :D)
You'll then have the opportunity to buy a brand old camera (say a Leica IIIf) and getting collectible-addicted lol.
I've been using non-metered cameras only for more than a year and I have never had the slightest exposure problem.
Otherwise, you measure the light with a "normal" lens first, and then mount the fish-eye.
Or you spend the extra $$$ and buy the nikon or sigma.
But once again, be warned that, because of the quite restricted usability of a fisheye, it may not being worth it.
Have fun
I got a Beroflex 135mm/2.8 today and its a fully manual lens. The metering works fine. You have to set the camera on aperture priority and choose the aperture on the lens (not with the camera buttons). The camera will show that the aperture is 0.0 but dont pay attention to that. Its like the camera will forget everything about apertures and just meters the light that comes in. I use a Canon film body, but i dont think its very diferent on a Nikon DSLR.

EDIT: Here it says this "Two basic camera adapters: one Pentax M-42 screw mount adapter and Nikon AI (Nikon D70 camera and others)." so i think the Nikon AI makes it work with DSLR
Unfortunetely, what's possible on Canons is not on Nikons. look this thread.
It's a shame because of all those wonderful AI-AIS lenses :(
Morality : if you plan to use old lenses on modern cameras, don't buy a Nikon.
Or perhaps a F6, F100, D100 or D200. Or any of those nice 2000+$ cameras.

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